The Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) has progressed digitalisation of its operations and will benefit from 5G and Narrowband-Internet of Things (NB-IoT) solutions with its new LTE network.
Announced in March 2021, the launch of a Vodafone-designed private mobile phone network at the Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT) will offer new opportunities and value to customers.
The PPA told PTI in an exclusive interview that the new 4G+/LTE private network “effectively covers the current and future needs of the company,” connecting all contact points of the port, from the operators on the crane bridges to the port’s control centre.
The network has a strong signal coverage and a guaranteed capacity throughput that ensures the secure transfer of large volumes of data, achieves the smooth operation of digital applications and Internet of Things services.
“From the very first days of operation of the network, the increase of the efficiency of the commercial Port of Piraeus is important as all the works are performed faster, without delays or interruptions and with absolute safety,” the port said.
Scalability is key for the new network which was built in just three months.
The investment means Piraeus is now enabled for the use of NB-IoT technology, meaning the port will soon be able to install sensors for remote monitoring and analysis of equipment and implement digital applications.
Another example of the use of NB-IoT in Europe is at APMT Barcelona’s 5G pilot, which has equipped yard equipment and operatives with IoT sensors which provide real-time analysis and collision alarms to improve the yard’s overall safety and productivity.
“NB-IoT is a field with a very large growth potential and we believe that in the port it will find new, innovative applications in this technology,” the port said. “In addition, this new network is upgradeable to 5G (5G-ready) and will be able to support all future applications.”
The private network serves data traffic and covers all container stations and piers of Piraeus, offering a guaranteed network capacity of 3 Gbps and supporting loading, unloading, storage, and monitoring of all operations.
“We are already seeing results as the new network with its innovative capabilities did not take long to show its effectiveness,” the port added.
“For the commercial Port of Piraeus, operational efficiency plays a key role, as the time that can be saved per container loading and unloading, brings significant profit.
“From the first month of operation of the network, thanks to the uninterrupted and fast data transfer 24/7, the improvement of efficiency and competitiveness is significant.”
PPA added that the network’s ability to adopt new technologies and IoT solutions was central as it increases efficiency and productivity, whilst reducing environmental footprint.
“Thus, the need was created for a new private secure network with guaranteed performance, 100% coverage of the entire terminal, 24/7 availability and possibilities for future expansion,” the port said.
The PPA, which has an investment partnership with COSCO Shipping Ports, is the Mediterranean’s busiest container shipping port and is currently upgrading its infrastructure and container handling capacity.